As trouble mounts for British Prime Minister Liz Truss, with a fifth Conservative Party MP publicly asking for her resignation, supporters of former chancellor of exchequer Rishi Sunak, who lost to Truss in the recent leadership contest, have revived efforts to install him at 10 Downing Street.
The public call by Tory MPs to Truss came as latest opinion polls suggested landslide support for the Labour Party.
A new MRP poll suggests that the Conservative Party could win less than 150 seats at the next general election, The Telegraph reported.
Data from Opinium suggests that based on the current state of the parties, Labour would end up with 411 seats. The Tories, on the other hand, are projected to lose 219 seats, ending up with 137.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Hunt, the newly appointed British finance minister, on Monday, 17 October, reversed nearly all announcements made by Truss and former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng in the mini-budget.
Tory MPs Asks Truss to Resign
Sir Charles Walker on Monday became the fifth Tory MP asking Truss's resignation, saying that her "position is untenable."
"She [Truss] has put colleagues, the country, through a huge amount of unnecessary pain and upset and worry. We don't need a disruptor in No 10. We need a uniter."Walker told Sky News.
The situation can only be remedied with a new prime minister, he added.
Angela Richardson, another Tory MP, told The Telegraph that it would be "better for the party and for the country to have a change in leadership at the top."
"Whoever comes up top in the ballot, there should be a coronation. MPs should exercise common sense about that. This is a very pivotal point in time where mucking around is just not in the national interest."Angela Richardson
Jamie Wallis on Sunday became the third Conservative MP to call for Truss to quit as the UK Prime Minister.
Wallis said Ms Truss had "undermined Britain’s economic credibility and fractured our party irreparably."
“In recent weeks, I have watched as the government has undermined Britain’s economic credibility and fractured our Party irreparably. Enough is enough," sharing his letter, Wallis wrote on Twitter.
“I have written to the prime minister to ask her to stand down as she no longer holds the confidence of this country.”Jamie Wallis, Conservative Party MP
Earlier, veteran MP Crispin Blunt urged the prime minister to resign "now," The Telegraph reported. Blunt told Channel 4 that “the game is up, and it's now a question as to how the succession is managed."
His call was echoed by Andrew Bridgen, who also went public with his calls for the PM to resign.
"We cannot carry on like this. Our country, its people and our party deserve better."Andrew Bridgentold The Telegraph.
Truss Protected by Conservative Party Rule
The current Conservative rules provide Truss with a one-year immunity. However, 1922 Committee chair, Sir Graham Brady, could still ask Truss to step down despite party rules, or about two thirds of the party's nearly 360 MPs need to tell the committee to change the rules.
According to a report in The Guardian, there is speculation that as many as 100 letters may already have gone to Brady to try to trigger a leadership contest.
The push is now for a coronation to avoid party members getting the final say. A coronation would bypass another vote from the party's grassroots supporters.
Bloomberg reported that the committee members are expected to meet on Wednesday.
Truss was appointed the prime minister of the UK by Queen Elizabeth II on 6 September after she defeated former Chancellor Rishi Sunak for the post. She succeeded Boris Johnson, who was forced to resign in the aftermath of a series of scandals that led to ministers resigning en masse.
Sunak Supporters Back in Action
Supporters of Rishi Sunak stepped up efforts over the weekend to secure support to install him, Bloomberg reported.
Former chief whip Julian Smith has been in touch with multiple Conservative MPs to gauge support for Sunak. Mel Stride, a vocal critic of Truss and a Sunak supporter, is hosting a dinner for MPs on Monday evening, following a similar event last week, the report added.
Sunak has so far restrained from commenting on Truss’ mini-budget that brought the UK to a brink of economic collapse.
Hunt Reverses Truss's Mini-Budget
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt on Monday said he will reverse almost all the tax cuts Kwarteng announced in the last month’s mini-budget, saying that the country needed to rebuild investor confidence.
The Guardian reported that Hunt will scrap plans for cuts to dividend tax rates, reversal of off-payroll changes, the new VAT free shopping scheme for non-UK visitors, and the freeze on alcohol duty rates.
"I remain extremely confident about the UK's long term economic prospects as we deliver our mission to go for growth. But growth requires confidence and stability, and the United Kingdom will always pay its way.”Jeremy Hunt
He will also review the support for household and business energy bills beyond April 2023.
Hunt was appointed as the new chancellor of exchequer on Friday, becoming the fourth person to hold the office in a year.
Rishi Sunak, who was appointed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2020, resigned earlier this year, triggering a rebellion against Johnson. He was succeeded by Nadhim Zahawi who held the office until new prime minister, Liz Truss, appointed Kwarteng as her chancellor.
(With inputs from The Telegraph, Channel 4, The Guardian, Sky News, and Bloomberg.)